Tarbolton Parish Church

Tarbolton Parish Church - Composed by John C Grant (https://johncgrant.com). Traditional composer from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Tabrolton Parish Church, Tarbolton, Ayrshire, Scotland

Gracing the heart of Cunningham Street in Tarbolton, the Tarbolton Parish Church stands as a timeless testament to architectural grace. Its origins trace back to 1821, when its majestic structure was meticulously crafted. Yet, whispers of history indicate that this sacred ground has held a place of worship since the 14th century, a legacy that would have intersected with the footsteps of Robert Burns during his time in Tarbolton.

An ‘A’ listed marvel, the church has not only witnessed the passage of time but also embraced change. In a transformative union in 1943, it joined hands with the neighboring Erskine Church, breathing fresh life into the spiritual narrative of the community. The former Erskine Church has gracefully transformed into the Erskine Hall, a versatile space that maintains a connection to its historical roots while serving as the vibrant church hall. With its proximity to the primary school, a mere 5-minute stroll from the church, the Erskine Hall remains a hub of community activities.

The interiors of Tarbolton Parish Church resonate with musical heritage, thanks to a double manual pipe organ, a masterpiece crafted by Norman and Beard in 1908. Its harmonious tones become an integral part of our worship, creating an immersive experience for congregants.

Nestled between the townships of Kilmarnock and Ayr, Tarbolton unfurls its narrative against a backdrop steeped in historical significance. Originating as a weaving village in the 18th century, it has woven its story into the very fabric of Scottish culture. Notably, the bonds of faith and community extend beyond its walls, as Tarbolton Parish Church is closely linked with Annbank Parish Church, a shared connection that strengthens the sense of unity and purpose.

Within the sacred confines of the churchyard lies a poignant reminder of the past – the grave of William Shillilaw, a figure whose story resonates with the echoes of time. In July 1685, Lieutenant Lauder, a subaltern from the nearby Sorn Castle garrison, crossed paths with young William Shillilaw at the wood head of Tarbolton. Shillilaw, a staunch Covenanter, paid the ultimate price for his refusal to acknowledge Episcopacy. A victim of that turbulent era, his grave serves as a testament to resilience and sacrifice. Positioned directly to the left of the church’s steps, his gravestone silently speaks of a life cut short.

As visitors explore the hallowed ground, they encounter not just one life but echoes of many. The graveyard cradles the remains of several associates of Robert Burns, a poignant reminder of the threads that connect individuals across time and generations. Tarbolton Parish Church, with its rich history and enduring presence, stands as a beacon of faith and community, where the past, present, and future converge in harmonious resonance.

Tarbolton Parish Church - Composed by John C Grant (https://johncgrant.com). Traditional composer from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

A guide track for ‘Tarbolton Parish Church’ is available below for listening: -

You can download a PDF of the sheet music here - or braille format here.

The track is additionally available within the following collections and sets: -

Associated Collections: -
4/4 Ayrshire Places Hornpipe The Tarbolton Collection